Lockheed Martin‘s recent announcement of their selection for the Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) marks a moment in the ongoing effort to fortify US defences against long-range ballistic missile threats.

As part of this endeavour, Aerojet Rocketdyne, a name in propulsion technology and a subsidiary of L3Harris Technologies, has been invited to provide the propulsion system.

In 2022, L3Harris Technologies finalised the acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne, a deal valued at $4.7bn. With this acquisition, L3Harris aimed to strengthen the defence industrial base and drive innovation in propulsion systems. The acquisition, completed in July 2023, created a fourth business segment within L3Harris. 

Aerojet Rocketdyne, which Lockheed also attempted to acquire, was the second largest proponent of the missile defence market, due to its dominant position within the rocket motors segment of the missile systems supply chain, according to GlobalData’s “Thematic Intelligence: Missile Defense” report.

The NGI, a cornerstone of MDA’s Ground-based midcourse defence system, is poised to bring new defence capabilities, offering enhanced interception capabilities to safeguard the homeland against evolving threats. By harnessing Aerojet Rocketdyne’s propulsion technology, the NGI aims to meet the demands of an ever-changing threat landscape well into the 2030s and beyond.

Lockheed Martin partnered with Aerojet Rocketdyne to vie for the US Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) contract.

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Meanwhile, rival Northrop Grumman accelerated its offering for the NGI programme, completing its All-Up Round Preliminary Design Review (PDR) a year ahead of schedule. Both Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman are racing to deploy operational NGIs.

Christopher E. Kubasik, Chair and CEO of L3Harris, expressed confidence in Aerojet Rocketdyne’s ability to rise to the challenge, citing their extensive experience as the industry-leading propulsion provider for MDA interceptor programs currently in production. This collaboration underscores the commitment of both Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocketdyne to deliver state-of-the-art defence solutions that prioritise national security.